Photo: Mackenzie Commercial Real Estate Services

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services brokered the sale of 5.3 acres in the Odenton Town Center to Conifer Realty, a Rochester, N.Y.-based company specializing in the development and management of multifamily housing units throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, by the E.L. Gardiner family, of Annapolis.

Conifer Realty will develop two buildings containing approximately 150 workforce rental units on the site fronting Route 175 at 1566-1580 Annapolis Road, adjacent to the Seven Oaks Shopping Center and near Route 32.

“Because this site is within a retail corridor in Anne Arundel County, it was generally assumed it was for that use, which is why it languished and sat vacant for many years,” said David McClatchy, a vice president for MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services. “We creatively matched this site with a highly-experienced niche workforce residential development group, which enabled the site to reach its full potential, while also providing a use that is traditionally underserved.”

Workforce housing is the typical solution for middle-income workers to buy or rent housing in areas where they work. It is most often used by public service workers such as teachers, police officers and fire fighters that earn wages that cannot keep pace with the rising cost of housing in their area.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers programs that offer tax credits and other financial incentives to development groups engaged in this asset class.

“Anne Arundel County officials have been generally unreceptive to new residential development proposals in the county for the past several of years, but workforce housing is viewed in a far different and positive light,” McClatchy said. “There exists a strong recognition of the benefits and on-going need for this residential housing class, in order to provide opportunities for those workers that contribute so much to the greater good in our communities.”

Development work is expected to commence on the site this fall with delivery scheduled for late 2023.